Barrel racing is a timed rodeo event in which combines the horse’s athletic ability and the rider’s horsemanship. Due to the intense training, travel and event environments, barrel racing horses are commonly exposed to health risk factors. Learn more about Barrel Racing and its history.
Ulcers are a common health concern in Barrel Racing Horses. Studies have shown that up to 80% of performance horses are likely to suffer from equine ulcers. Strenuous exercise, stress, travel and diet are the biggest risk factors for horses to develop ulcers. Stay on top of your barrel racing horse's health by learning how to identify the different symptoms of horse ulcers.
Common Health Risks
Horses who are fed on high grain/low roughage diets are more prone to ulcers. Lowering the grain intake, increasing the roughage and allowing your horse to graze freely more often will assist in ulcer prevention.
Another cause behind ulcer development is exposure to stress. Stress comes in many forms, but specific to barrel racing horses can include training, transport and competition.
Rather than eradicating theses things from your horses life, we suggest considering ways to lessen the stress on your horse.
For example, it's a good idea to plan for any long distance travel. Breaking up the trip as much as you can or travelling with a companion for your horse will ease this stress.
Surrounding your horse with the familiar at competitions and events can also provide a more relaxing experience for them. Furthermore, treating your horse with sucralfate for lengthy travel sessions will stop ulcers from forming.
Treating Ulcers in Barrel Racing Horses
There are two common types of equine ulcers: gastric ulcers and hindgut ulcers, and they must be diagnosed and treated differently.